WARSAW — For many of us the stay-home order has provided a break from the everyday routine, isolating at times, but otherwise not overly demanding of us.
For those designated as essential, it’s another story, said a news release from Cardinal Services.
Take, for instance, Cardinal Services’ employee, Steph Abbott. The mother of five has worked as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) for 11 years, and when the coronavirus began spreading, she knew it could be a threat to the people she works with and who have come to be like family to her
Along with 42 other Cardinal DSPs, Abbott volunteered to work a two-week shift, living for that entire time in one of Cardinal’s isolation homes. An isolation home is one in which the residents are medically fragile and therefore more at risk if they should get sick.
“I have the training and the experience to help them get safely through this, and I think it’s important that I do,” she said. Some might question her leaving her family for two weeks during this time, but Abbott replied, “I really thought hard about it and I truly think it’s safer for my family if I stay for two weeks rather than go back and forth every day.”
Abbott admits it hasn’t always been easy being away from her family. But she quickly adds that she chats with them a couple times every day on FaceTime, keeping in touch with everything happening in their lives, day to day.
“My six-year-old daughter thinks I’m on a vacation because she sees us having fun when we FaceTime, and my eight-year-old son questions whether it’s actually work!”
Abbott says she appreciates being able to make a difference in the lives of the people Cardinal serves. At the end of her two week shift, she will time off back at home with her family. Abbott jokes, “After that, they’ll probably be ready for me to go back to work!”